Chemical dependency is a term used to describe a disease characterized by the addiction to mood- altering chemicals found in legal or illegal drugs or alcohol. Some of the causes of chemical abuse and dependence are environmental stressors, social pressures, psychiatric problems or possible genetic traits.
People who have a chemical dependence most often abuse one or more of these agents:
- Pain medications
Warning signs that indicate a growing chemical dependence on these substances include:
- Developing a tolerance to use more alcohol or drugs to get a desired effect
- Interference with work, school, and relationships
- Spending a lot of time getting, using or recovering from the use of substances
- Craving drugs or alcohol on a continuing basis
- Having withdrawal symptoms if drugs or alcohol are not available
The Chemical Dependency Unit at Flushing Hospital is a medically managed detoxification unit that offers safe withdrawal from alcohol and drugs. Culturally-sensitive treatment is provided by a dedicated and caring staff that consists of physicians, physicians’ assistants, specially trained nurses, credentialed alcoholism and substance abuse counselors, creative arts therapists, social workers, and psychiatric consultants. Their focus is stabilizing the individual physically and emotionally so they can start the recovery process.
In addition to providing treatment, educational groups are facilitated to help patients learn about addiction as well as creative arts groups to help patients understand and express their emotions. Also self-help groups, such as AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous), conduct meetings on the unit to familiarize patients with the support services they provide.
Patients are admitted 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The length of stay is usually between three and seven days. Discharge plans are based on the individual needs of the patient.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.